Mouthwash for Treating Toenail Fungus

Mouthwash for Treating Toenail Fungus: Can it Help or Just a Myth!

Yellow, broken, thick, smelly and weird-looking nails are often the most common signs of toenail fungus.

Once you spot these signs, make sure you take immediate action to treat toenail fungus infection or it can spread.

Toenail Fungus can be deadly if it spreads to your bloodstream.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, you should treat the toenail fungus in its beginning stage itself using some easy remedies or hacks at home. You can try using your mouthwash to treat Toenail Fungus too!

What is mouthwash? How is it effective?

Mouthwashes are mainly used to gargle and wash your mouth after you eat or brush your teeth. This is for your oral or dental hygiene.

Since most mouthwashes are antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial, they can be very effective in treating toenail fungus. However, not all mouthwash companies manufacture strong mouthwashes.

Which mouthwash is the most effective remedy for toenail fungus?

The most effective mouthwash to treat toenail fungus is Listerine. Listerine is commonly available in many countries and is extremely famous for its oral hygiene preserving properties.

Recently, many studies have discovered that the menthol and thymol in Listerine can help battle toenail fungus very effectively.

Many studies claim that Listerine and its product line come with a lot of antifungal and antioxidant properties.

How can Listerine or other mouthwash treat Toenail Fungus?

There are no studies that state that Listerine is the permanent treatment for toenail fungus, however, thousands of experiments prove the effectiveness of Listerine in controlling the spread of toenail fungus.

Toenail fungus is treated with the help of Listerine when the remedy is followed for a long duration of three to four months.

PubMed explained how using Listerine regularly helped wiping out fungi completely: “Exposure for 30 seconds significantly decreased viable cells of C. Albicans.” 

  • Since Listerine is strong and acidic in nature, it is used to clean teeth as well as nails. 
  • Listerine’s antiseptic properties can reduce the swelling around the wound or toenail.
  • It can also reduce the inflammation of the nail bed and the skin around the nail.
  • The menthol helps the nails remain clean and dry so no fungi can thrive in your toenails.
  • It contains thymol, an alcohol soluble substance initially used to preserve mummies in ancient Egypt. It can be used to clear out toenail fungus as well.

Ways to use Listerine for Toenail Fungus Treatment

Most people use Listerine as it allows the toenail to smell fresh and remain dry throughout the day. You can use Listerine in the following ways:

  • 1. Topical Application

Topically applying Listerine is not so effective, however, it is a great way to keep your nails clean.

You may use a soft brush to apply some Listerine on your toenails repetitively.

This should be done twice or thrice in a day as the amount of Listerine applied through a brush is comparatively very less. 

  • 2. Listerine Foot Soak

This is one of the most common methods of Listerine treatment for your toenails. You can simply take a tub and fill it with a quarter of Listerine and the rest with warm water.

You will need a lot of Listerine to cover the affected area. Once the solution is ready, let your feet be soaked for 20 to 30 minutes at once.

You can repeat this twice a day or at least once a day for two to three months to see the best results. 

This soak can also be used as a preventive measure against toenail fungus infection.

  • 3. Listerine and Vinegar Soak

Since vinegar is highly acidic in nature, you can use half of vinegar and half of Listerine to prepare your foot soak. Now soak your feet in this solution for 20 to 30 minutes at once. You can repeat this on a daily basis.

What are the benefits of using Listerine Mouthwash for Toenail Fungus?

This mouthwash has several benefits for your toenails and feet.

  • Listerine is highly antiseptic in nature. So any wound will be healed on your feet.
  • It helps the nails grow properly.
  • Listerine helps remove the scaly, rough and patchy edges from your feet.
  • It helps prevent fungal infections in people with autoimmune diseases.
  • It brings back the original colour of your nails.
  • It helps your feet smell good.
  • It is used to prevent Athlete’s foot as well.
  • It creates an environment where fungi can’t survive at all.

How much time does Listerine take to kill the fungi causing Toenail Fungus?

Listerine alone may not be able to kill all fungi. In case the infection is in its beginning stages, it is possible to use Listerine alone as a treatment for toenail fungus.

However, you may want to continue taking over-the-counter or prescribed antifungal medicines for the same.

In most cases, Listerine starts showing its effects in two to three weeks.

You must continue the treatment or remedy for at least a few months to ensure your toenails remain dry and clean so the fungi can’t multiply.

Can Listerine be used for normal foot soaks too?

Yes, many people have started using Listerine as a normal foot soak to prevent future toenail fungus infections.

You can do this if you wear shoes and socks the whole day and want your toenails to remain dry and clean.

Studies have proven how the usage of Listerine can prevent decaying or discolouration of your toenails.

Studies to support Thyme Oil Remedy for Toenail Fungus

Listerine is surely known for its antibacterial properties and hence it is used as an oral or dental cleansing solution.

Since it is made to clean your teeth and mouth, it is very light. Hence, it is considered to be extremely safe for use for toenail fungus too.

Studies suggest how thymol is an antibacterial oil present in Listerine and it can keep the surface very clean: Thymol is one of the essential oils with antibacterial effects found in Listerine. 


Although the remedy is considered to be extremely safe for use, there are very rare cases where excessive use of Listerine can result in rashes.

Do not expose your wounds to the vinegar and Listerine soak as it may be very harsh for your skin. Overdoing this remedy can result in dry skin too, so don’t disturb the pH of your skin.

Make sure you apply Listerine regularly in the said quantities only. Also, don’t forget to take your antifungal medicines as advised by your doctor. Remember, Listerine is not a substitute for your medicines.


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